Monday, August 11, 2008

[You get a two-fer today.] CJ and I have been mattress shopping, my four-year-old "premium" full-size futon not being good enough for Mr. Princessandthepea, Sir Yes-I-have-to-sleep-with-my-head-leaning-on-my-arm-so-we-need-a-mattress-indescribably-
soft-in-order-for-my-arm-to-not go-numb-instein. I have only ever bought futons -- in fact, I've been sleeping on a futon since high school (excepting four years of vinyl-covered Hampshire-supplied mattresses). At the futon store, you try the various kinds, of which there are maybe 8, and the prices are marked, and you pay what the sign says. You can see that I had no idea what I was getting into when I walked into a regular mattress store last Sunday and had a salesman immediately attach himself to my (and CJ's) hip. We were ushered immediately to an air-bladder-filled mattress that measured our bodies and told us what level of firmness we would like best. He took us to various options, taking into account all of our desires as to price, lack of "partner disturbance" (i.e. bounciness), and of course the firmness. When we laid down on a mattress for a few minutes of testing, he would gracefully find something to do at the other end of the store. When we decided we liked a particular mattress, he suddenly remembered that, wait a minute, wasn't this model on sale at another store? Because they can use the coupon codes from any store, you know. He "called the other store" and indeed, the mattress was half off! But we still didn't like it enough to buy it right then, and we wanted to try another store. Somehow, through some kind of sleight of hand, we ended up at his computer terminal, giving him our names, my phone number and address, along with the name and model of the mattress, just to help us when we came back later, you know. I told him I didn't want anyone to actually call me, and he said that was fine, he'd make a note not to call. "Please give us a chance, guys, I think you'll like what {store name} can do for you," he said to our fleeing backs as we made our escape.

We went to the other store, a higher-end place that sold other furniture (which somehow translates into a no-haggling situation), and tried a couple of mattresses we really liked, but that were quite spendy. A couple days later, we decided to drop by the first store again to do some comparing. A different salesguy was there, though he remembered seeing us that Sunday. CJ and I had changed our criteria and were trying some latex, non-spring numbers. The salesguy was, again, very helpful and attentive. But again, we weren't ready to buy without more thought, even though he said that this mattress was part of a special promotion in which we could pick out a free pillow, even after he "checked" with someone unseen and found out that we could actually get THREE free pillows, and even after, once we told him we were going to leave, he said "Is there anything I can do to get you to buy a mattress today?" We had to say no.

I got a call on my cell phone at work on Wednesday from, hey wouldyalookitthat, the mattress store! It was some woman, a "regional manager" who "just wanted me to know" that the mattress we had been looking at was now an additional $100 off, but just for the next 11 hours! I had to break it to her that we had moved on from that particular model, and I couldn't remember the name of the new one we liked, so she had no way of making up some sale that would entice me further.

Even after all of that, we decided that the cozy, all-natural mattress at the furniture store was not $1,000 more comfortable than the one at the big mattress store. So we came back on Sunday (yesterday) to find our original salesguy, who did not offer any free pillows, but who knocked $200 off the price when we asked him what he could do for us, and then 10% on top of that (because of the proximity to tax-free weekend; don't ask), and then let CJ buy a fancy pillow at cost. Despite my amusement/uneasiness with dealing with salesguys on commission, we are very much looking forward to our new sleeping experience. And now that I know my memory-foam-topped Talalay latex baby is coming in a week, my futon feels like granite.

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